Waiting for the water to heat, I tear open the packet of Sugar-Free Lime Jell-O, and suddenly I am four years old, and the air is thick with fingerpainting. This magic powder smells of pale blue liquid starch, mixed with non-toxic Tempra paint that I smear it around in swirls and shapes on construction paper. I've got paint up to my elbows, and so does every kid sitting at the table with me, and we are all smiling ear-to-ear.
As I pour the boiling water in over the powder, the familiar lime scent fills the room, and the moment is gone. But as the Jell-O cools, a lingering trace of starch hangs in the air, and makes me smile.